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The Black Ferns Sevens have beaten rivals Australia 21-17 to win the Canadian leg of the rugby sevens world series.

Australia opened the scoring in the final but New Zealand replied quickly with Tyla Nathan-Wong setting up the Kiwis first two tries before scoring one herself.

In qualifying for the semi-finals at the tournament the Kiwis guaranteed themselves a qualification spot for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

“That’s been our goal right from the start of the season is to qualify for Tokyo,” said Captain Sarah Hirini.

“To do it early on takes a bit of pressure off but we want to carry on the season like we started and getting small gains from every game.”

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The win sees the Kiwis retain the top spot on the Women's Sevens Series standings.

Meanwhile in Australia surfer Billy Stairmand put in a commanding performance in small conditions to win the Gold Coast open.

The Olympic hopeful posted a score of 15.3 in the final to beat Australian Stuart Kennedy at Burleigh Heads.

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The win saw him leap 43 places on the world qualifying rankings to No 47. 

Kiwi 470 sailors Paul Snow-Hansen and Dan Willcox also had a strong weekend and are sitting in sixth at the European Championships.

The pair revelled in windy conditions, winning one of their races as gusts in excess of 30 knots whipped the course.

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"We had a pretty amazing end to the day," Snow-Hansen said.

"It's not often you get to sail in that much breeze. We had a phenomenal downwind, which was probably one of the career highlights. It took us from about fifth or sixth place into the lead. It was just a bit of a game changer for our race and we won the race a leg ahead. That was pretty fun.”

In The Netherlands New Zealand’s BMX riders found the big jumps, windy conditions and aggressive riding a challenge in round four of the UCI Supercross World Cup.

Sarah Walker was the only Kiwi to progress to the quarterfinal stage after placing third in qualifying and in her eighth-round. Walker hit the gate in the quarters and in a strong field could only get back to fifth to miss out on the semifinal by one spot.

“I hit the gate quite hard which slowed me and while I pushed hard I could not quite recover.

“It was disappointing but at the same time I was pleased with my speed which was in the fastest of all riders all day.”

While the other New Zealand riders will remain for the next round in France, Walker will return home to prepare for the world championships.

“It was always my plan. I am really happy where I am at, with my speed and consistency. I’m around the top-10 in the world but looking forward to getting home to have a good block of training and head back for the world championships.”

In Taupo Madison Crowe claimed a nail-biting win at the National Eventing Championships.

The finish couldn’t have been any closer with Crowe aboard Waitangi Pinterest and defending champ Amanda Pottinger on Just Kidding both finishing on the same mark. The winner was decided on which rider was closer to the optimum cross country time yesterday.

“It is incredible and Waitangi Pinterest deserved the win so much. She is the coolest horse in the world,” said Crowe.

Rio Olympian Clarke Johnstone said 25-year-old Crowe had now put herself on the radar for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.


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